September 28, 2011 |
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court today ordered a Philadelphia judge to do fact-finding on a death penalty defense group's claim that Philadelphia's pay-rate for lawyers appointed to represent the poor in capital cases is so low it violates the client's constitutional right to an effective defense. The joint order by the state's high court appointed Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner to conduct the inquest into complaints in a suit filed by the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, a Center City nonprofit.
September 22, 2011 |
Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis' bid for the New Jersey state Senate ended Thursday when a federal appeals court panel ordered the Democrat's name removed from the ballot, reversing a decision it made last week. Lewis, 50, of Medford, will not appeal the decision and will not seek another office this year, said his campaign manager, Chris Walker. Lewis will detail his plans at a news conference at Kings Grant Park in Evesham on Friday, Walker said. "We feel like our attorneys . . . did all that they could do and presented the facts.
September 15, 2011 |
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A Dutch court ordered the government Wednesday to compensate the widows of seven Javanese villagers who were summarily executed and a man shot and wounded in a notorious 1947 massacre during Indonesia's bloody battle for independence from colonial rule. The landmark ruling was the first time the Dutch government has been held responsible by a court for the massacre. The Hague Civil Court ruled it was "unreasonable" for the government to argue that the widows were not entitled to compensation because the statute of limitations had expired.
September 14, 2011 |
A federal appeals court will not allow Mount Holly Township to force 70 low-income families, mostly minorities, from their homes for a redevelopment project, saying a trial is needed to determine whether the action is discriminatory. The families are holdouts - 259 other families have been relocated from Mount Holly Gardens, which has long been home to predominantly African American and Hispanic residents with incomes below the poverty line. In recent years, the Burlington County town has been demolishing the brick rowhouses and planning to get a developer to replace them with more than 500 market-rate townhouses and apartments.
August 25, 2011 |
TRENTON - New Jersey's highest court ordered changes Wednesday to the way eyewitness identifications are used, saying the current system is not reliable enough, fails to deter police misconduct, and overstates jurors' ability to evaluate evidence. The case is expected to influence the way eyewitness identification of suspects is handled, and not just in New Jersey. The ruling is being closely watched because New Jersey has long been at the forefront in identification standards.
August 24, 2011 |
Imprisoned former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo faces a new sentencing hearing after a federal appeals panel ruled Tuesday that the judge who gave him a 55-month term failed to take into account the sweep and severity of his crimes. In a win for prosecutors, the panel said U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter made several errors as he weighed Fumo's misconduct in 2009 and set a punishment far less than the 21 years or more that prosecutors said was warranted. A key error was calculating the losses to the public from the former Democratic power broker's crimes, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit panel said in a 2-1 ruling.
August 23, 2011 |
A three-judge U.S. Court of Appeals panel here affirmed the corruption conviction of former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo today, but sent the case back to federal district court for resentencing. Fumo's one-time aide, Ruth Arnao, also is to be resentenced. The decision of the panel was not unanimous, however. U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard L. Nygaard dissented, saying he would affirm both the convictions and sentences for Fumo and Arnao. Fumo was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronald M. Buckwalter on July 14, 2009 to 55 months in federal prison after a jury convicted him in March 2009 on 137 counts of fraud, tax evasion and obstruction of justice.
June 28, 2011 |
LONDON - The international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity issued against Moammar Gadhafi and members of his family has further isolated the Libyan leader, but it may also increase his determination to fight on rather than relinquish power or seek sanctuary outside the country. With the military standoff between NATO-led and pro-Gadhafi forces surpassing 100 days, the International Criminal Court in the Hague on Monday named Gadhafi, his son Seif Islam Gadhafi, and brother-in-law Abdullah Sanoussi as wanted men. The court alleged the leaders ordered or encouraged their forces to gun down and imprison hundreds of Libyan civilians in the early days of the uprising that broke out in February.
June 11, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Friday overturned an order releasing a Yemeni detainee from Guantanamo Bay and ruled that circumstantial evidence of terrorist ties can be enough to keep a prisoner. Government attorneys argued that Hussain Salem Mohammad Almerfedi stayed at an al-Qaeda-affiliated guesthouse, based on the testimony of another Guantanamo detainee. A lower-court judge found the testimony unreliable and ordered Almerfedi released, but the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington said the judge erred in that conclusion.
May 25, 2011 |
New Jersey's Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state to come up with $500 million more to aid certain poor and largely urban school districts next year, finding that the state did not enforce its own law or live up to promises made to the court. However, the justices, in their highly anticipated decision, declined to restore the full amount of the state's aid shortfall - about $1.6 billion - that could have benefited many districts, including others with low-income children.